WOODLAND HILLS—A Woodland Hills attorney and his firm are being sued in a wrongful death suit by the family of an automotive designer from Santa Monica, who alleges that he was drunk during the vehicle collision that left one individual dead.
Jacob Loniak, a 43-year-old mechanical engineer and automotive designer, died on April 28 in Malibu when his motorcycle collided with a Lexus being operated by 54-year-old Timothy Ricardo Hanigan, from Encino.
At approximately 8:30 p.m., Loniak was riding a 2009 BMW 1150 motorcycle down Pacific Coast highway, just east of Topanga Canyon Boulevard, when he smashed into Hanigan’s 2007 Lexus GX 470. Loniak was pronounced dead at the scene by officials.
Hanigan was making a legal left turn, where a non-legal sign from there restaurant advised to turn right only, out of Mastro’s Ocean Club restaurant and attempted to cross the eastbound lanes of traffic on PCH to head west when the vehicles collided.
The Lexus, after the initial collision, continued on its trajectory and collided with a 2010 Toyota Prius traveling northbound, driven by a 34-year-old woman from Los Angeles. Neither Hanigan nor the Los Angeles woman suffered any injuries.
A suit against Hanigan and the law firm of Lang, Hanigan, and Carvalho was filed on May 20 seeking unspecified damages.
The suit alleges that Hanigan is believed to have “voluntarily drank alcoholic beverages to the point of intoxication” knowing that he would be operating a vehicle. The suit further claims that Hanigan allegedly “intentionally and willfully refused to submit” to a timely blood-alcohol chemical test by California Highway Patrol officers.
The suit additionally alleges that, “Hanigan intentionally frustrated the chemical testing process in an attempt to allow the passage of time to lower his blood-alcohol content.”
Loniak’s 7-year-old son, Duke, is a plaintiff in the suit. He will be represented in the complaint by his guardian, Kei Rowan-Young, Loniak’s wife.
The victim worked at the Volvo Monitoring Concept Center, as a principal in the Off Worlds Motors company, and as a design teacher at the Art Center College of Design.